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The Circuit

Extraordinary F1: the final race in pictures

By Mike Steere
For CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The Brazilian Grand Prix had been building for some time as an exciting climax to the season, and what resulted could not have been more dramatic.

British pride: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is the new Formula One World Champion.

From a pre-race downpour of rain on the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, to the early exit of veteran David Coulthard and the effects of a drying track -- this race had it all.

And then, as rain began falling three laps from the finish, the drama reached a new height.

Seemingly cruising to fourth or fifth place and the guaranteed Formula One World Championship title, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was first passed and then forced to pit for wet tires.

Hamilton fell to sixth place, and as his contender -- Ferrari's Felipe Massa -- crossed the finish in first place, it looked as though the title had slipped through his grasp for the second year in a row.

Enter Toyota's Timo Glock and his disastrous final lap. Two corner from the checkered flag Glock slipped and allowed Hamilton to pass and return to fifth position.

Hamilton kept control through the final bend and clinched the title.

Photo See a photo gallery of how this dramatic day unfolded »

Afterwards Hamilton was speechless, while home-town favorite Felipe Massa was heart-broken. The crowd also turned on Hamilton for a short time, after they, like the Ferrari pit crew, believed that Massa had won the title.

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Massa had trailed Hamilton by seven points leading into the final race and needed to win to have any chance of claiming the title.

He managed to win, however, Hamilton's fifth position gave him enough points to stay one point clear of the Brazilian and become Britain's first Formula One World Champion since Damon Hill in 1996.

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